Thank you from Cherry Hill Lane
To the Editor:
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the Cherry Hill Lane Housing Project for their hard work, dedication, support, and well-wishes. We would like to thank Pariseault for the incredible houses you put together, Bain Transue for doing such a amazing job with the excavating and landscaping, Turtle Hatfield for the awesome plants that we will enjoy for years to come, Josie Merck for your generous donation and support, and of course the Affordable Housing Board: Stacy Henshaw, Rosemary Tobin, Millie McGinnes, Michael Kiley, Kay McManus, John Spier, and their fearless leader, Cindy Pappas. Without your years of dedication to this project and your countless hours of volunteer work, we would never have our beautiful homes! We truly can’t thank you enough! We would also like to thank the community as a whole for your well wishes, enthusiasm, and support of us as new homeowners and the project in general.
We appreciate you all so much!
The Residents of Cherry Hill Lane
Louis, Shannon, and Eli Marsella
Vivian Donis and Jorge, Kayden, and Daniella Morales
Jessica Wood and Olivia Cahoon
As if things were normal…
To the Editor:
I recently attended a favorite B.I. restaurant and bar, my first time inside after five months. Upon entrance, masked folks were properly distancing, the watchful staff carefully logging in each person.
Sitting at the new plexiglass-divided bar, I observed people arriving in multiple cars, greeting each other as they lined up at the door. Longtime friends finally meeting again to relax and have dinner. Sitting closely together in the booths, masks were removed to drink and dine as conversations became more enthusiastic. And just like old times folks would go over to other tables, back and forth greeting old friends, all unmasked.
At the bar, patrons would lean around the plexiglass to greet each other, telling old stories again as well as starting conversations with those new to the bar.
In a previous time, I would not have felt so threatened inside my old haunt.
I had to leave in order to protect myself from so many friends and acquaintances acting as if things were normal.
Many issues to consider
To the Editor:
As we approach voting day, there are many issues. Foremost, in my opinion, is the pandemic and global warming. In a year, the pandemic will, hopefully, be resolved. However, the global warming problem is far from solution. Because of a 45 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution and the concomitant rise in globally average temperature of about 1.5 degrees centigrade, the U.S. and the world face a very large challenge: how to eliminate fossil fuel combustion, reduce the future rise in temperature and save life on our planet.
In order to understand the magnitude of the challenge and to simplify the discussion, I will assume that the challenge will be met by the construction of offshore wind turbines. (The numbers are large and so the power units are GW = gigawatt = 1,000,000,000 watts.) Block Islanders know something about wind turbines. The Block Island Wind Farm, the first and only offshore installation in the U.S. now in existence, supplies 0.03 GW; it is, as we will see, a negligible number.
The total electrical generating capacity in the U.S., mostly fueled by coal, oil and natural gas, is 1,200GW. Add 340GW to account for future conversion of transportation to electricity and the replacement total becomes 1540GW. Offshore wind farm projects (30) underway or in the planning stage will provide 24GW. Thus, there is a need for construction to ramp up 64 times than that which is now in the offing, an awesome number. (By the way, it is expected that new installations will be out of sight of coastal residences.)
Onshore wind turbines now provide 107GW, but may not greatly expand due to environmental and visual concerns. But solar energy certainly will be a healthy competitor to wind turbines if they provide power of the order of many hundreds of GW. Presently, there are 85GW of installed solar panels. Present nuclear energy capacity is 98GW and requires a change in public perceptions of safety to be competitive. The above is meant to indicate the magnitude of the problem. Clearly, a very large change in federal government policy and action and industrial support is required. The U.S. is the world leader in energy consumption, but still only 17 percent of the total. But who other than the U.S. can provide world leadership toward elimination of fossil fuel consumption? Consider global warming when casting votes in our nation’s upcoming election.
George Mellor, Sc.D.
Cat Rock Road
Time to talk about the future
To the Editor:
Now that summer is over, perhaps this is the time to talk about our future.
What do we want Block Island’s identity to be 50 years from now?
What do we want to leave behind there for our children and grandchildren?
What will the island look like?
What will we be known for having accomplished there?
Now is the time to decide the island’s future, which we have the opportunity to do, since ours is a small, self-contained island. If we do not decide, then others will determine its future for us.
An idea to think about.
Could Block Island be recognized for being different from the mainland and having an identity we can call our own, that reflects our dreams?
Could it be an eco-island, relating every aspect of it to sustainability, including energy, food production, transit, entertainment, and tourist attractions?
Block Island already has an excellent start on food production, with its many farms, as well as facilities for oyster and honey production. Now, many restaurants on the island are raising their own produce to serve for farm-to-table lunch and dinner. Could the island similarly raise more of its own food for local use? Could we even export food to the mainland, as the island did many years ago?
Could we have our own renewable energy sources through solar and wind power, hydropower and biomass, not dependent on the mainland for our electrical needs? Already many buildings on the island are powered by solar and wind energy. The next step is for the island to generate all of its energy sustainably.
Could we set a limit on the number of motor vehicles that visitors (not residents or commercial drivers) can drive to the island? Since our roads are small and not built for large amounts of vehicle travel, could we have small electric vehicles for local transportation, similar to bike-sharing in most cities?
Speaking of which, could bicycles be the major form of local transit around the island as a bike-sharing program, including electric bikes?
Could our tourist facilities emphasize eco-vacations for people to come and enjoy the island’s beautiful natural surroundings? We have a wonderful start on that, with our nature conservation and Greenway trails. In fact, we may already have the largest percentage of land preserved in a land trust in the state. Can we expand on this?
Could we be a community of resident artists offering courses for potential artists? Perhaps we could connect with the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) so some of its students could come to the island for a semester. We could attract artists of all kinds—painters, sculptors, ceramicists, dancers, writers, actors, singers, and others involved in all kinds of creative endeavors. Crafts made on Block Island could be sold here as well, on which we have a good start with North Light Fibers.
In sum, Block Island could be known as an eco and artist community.
Places like Tilden Park in Berkeley, California, Fort Desoto in St. Petersburg, Florida, World’s End in Hingham, Massachusetts, and our National Parks are the result of dreams of people before us, and we are so thankful that people of the past were able to look into the future. Many of our major assets have been inspired by their visions.
Can we provide the same for our own future?
Some good news
To the Editor:
Amid this horrible pandemic there is wonderful news. At our last Blood Drive we were delighted that 39 faithful donors showed up and we were able to take 36 donations. This is two more than the 34 we received at our July blood drive.
Thank you all for your wonderful gift. This is more than we have received for many years. It is extremely important because state-wide donations are down. Because of the virus many school blood drives have been canceled.
After great thanks to our donors, thanks to faithful Harbor Church, which was opened just for the drive. Thanks also to the donation team and truck. They get up extra early to make the boat and return home after normal hours. Thanks also to wonderful Interstate Navigation as always.
Our next blood drive is Thursday, Nov. 5. Hopefully we can continue the wonderful results again. Thanks once more to all faithful donors.
Rhode Island Blood Center